Exercise vs. Training

Exercise vs. Training

What’s the difference?

For most people training at the gym and exercising are much the same thing. You are going to the gym or working out, raising your heart rate, sweating and feeling good doing whichever activity you prefer.  However, training and exercising are very different. Let me explain…


Exercise, in its most basic form, can be defined as something that “enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness”. 

It is recommended that everyone participate in some form of physical exercise, regardless of the type of exercise you are doing.

Exercise is physical activity performed for the effect it produces today -- right now.

Exercise may well involve doing exactly the same thing every time you do it, as long as it accomplishes the task of making you feel like you want to feel while you're doing it.

And on top of all that, exercise can help with weight control – although it is impossible to out-exercise a bad diet!

I think that we can all agree that exercise is a good thing. Even if we don’t always do enough of it, we all know that we should be…

Skipping in the gym


If you’ve spent any time in the gym, you have probably heard guys refer to what they’re doing as ‘training’. 

When someone says that they are training, it means that they are actively trying to improve something – usually in a systematic way. 

Training is physical activity performed for the purpose of satisfying a long-term performance goal, and is therefore about the process instead of the workouts themselves. 

Broadly speaking, when we train for something – we are seeking to condition ourselves to operate at a higher level. To get better at whatever it is, i.e. Increase the weight we are lifting, running further each day etc. 

Training may also be the most effective way to get the results that most people use exercise to obtain, especially if that goal is more than just maintenance.

Rope training in the gym

I am in no way suggesting that training is better than merely exercising.

As with most things, it really comes down to your specific goals and what you are trying to achieve. 

If your priority is just to maintain your health, then simply exercising will generally be sufficient for you – and you are completely flexible to choose whatever type of activity you like best. 

However, if you are trying to reach a specific target in terms of your fitness, then most likely training is what you should be doing. 

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